Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

By Harry V. Jaffa | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter XVIII
The "Natural Limits" of Slavery Expansion

WE have already cited the extraordinary statement by Professor Randall that Douglas's program "would inevitably have made Kansas free..." We have argued that, in so far as Randall relies for his judgment on the political effects of the doctrine of "popular sovereignty," taken by itself, he is utterly mistaken. For Douglas would have been powerless to resist Buchanan in 1857-58 without the Republicans in Congress, and there would have been no Republicans there if Douglas's policy had been accepted in 1854; and there is no to reason to believe that without the continued opposition to Douglas by Lincoln in 1858 "popular sovereignty" would have resulted in freedom in Kansas thereafter. But Randall's thesis, and the whole revisionist case, hinges upon still another hypothesis. It is that causes other than purely political ones would in any case have kept slavery out of Kansas and out of any other parts of the Union where it was not already established. "By 1858 it was evident that slavery in Kansas had no chance," Randall writes. "After that, as Professor W. O. Lynch has shown, 'there was no remaining Federal territory where the conditions were so favorable to slavery.' The fight against the Lecompton proslavery constitution was won not by reason of any debate between Lincoln and Douglas, but by the logical workings of natural causes and by a specific contest in which, with 'the aid of Republicans, he [ Douglas ] won the Lecompton fight.'"1

Anyone reading Randall's text would, we think, suppose that the article of Professor Lynch from which Randall has quoted,

-387-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 456

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?